Spotify Faces Lawsuit Over Gender Discrimination and Equal Pay Violation

A former sales executive at Spotify filed a lawsuit against the company on Tuesday over gender-based discrimination, equal pay violation, and defamation.

In the lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court, Hong Perez said that Brian Berner, the US head of sales excluded women from multiple networking trips to the Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and 2017, which she said were referred to internally as “boys’ trips,” according to Variety. She also mentioned “drug use” on each trip and said that one male employee got into a physical fight during one trip.

The lawsuit lists other cases of gender discrimination, including a male Spotify managers trip to an Atlantic City strip club, a male employee who received a promotion after a sexual harassment complaint, and claims that a Human Resources executive told staffers in a meeting that his favorite curse word is “c*nt.”

The lawsuit also claims that the same Human Resources head told Perez that he went easy on one male employee accused of harassment because he had “a soft spot” for him. Perez added that the CFO once remarked at a town hall that “he does not care about diversity at the company.”

Perez also accused the global head of sales of giving higher compensation to male employees, and accused Berner of defamation. She said in the lawsuit that after accepting free tickets to Madison Square Garden in New York he was reprimanded but avoided disciplinary action because he instead blamed Perez. The situation lead to Berner firing her from the company.

“At Spotify, we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind at any level. While we cannot comment on the specific details of a pending litigation, these claims are without merit,” a representative of Spotify told Variety in a statement.

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